How to set up an eBay shop
Without a doubt, eBay is one of the most successful sites to
grace the web: on the auction website, a car sells every two
minutes, a toy car sells every 25 seconds and a handbag sells every
three seconds. With 178,000 people in the UK using the site as a
form of income and an estimated 16 million people going to the
website each year, an eBay store is one of the easiest ways to
start a business.
- Before you start your eBay business, you will need to
select a product to sell. Whether it's antiques,
garden accessories or classic cars, most eBay businesses specialise
in a certain type of product. Choose something you are interested
in and have a thorough knowledge of to avoid being caught out if a
buyer has a question about it.
- eBay users go to the website to find products they
wouldn't usually be able to find in the shops - so look for
unusual, one-off or hard-to-find items. To get repeat business,
consider selling items your buyers will need to return for.
- If you're serious about selling on eBay, you'll want to buy
your products on a wholesale basis. To find a
supplier, attend trade shows or look online for wholesalers.
if you've already had good sales on eBay or you have the figures to
prove there's a niche for your product, use that as a negotiating
point with the supplier.
Register your business
- Before you can register your eBay store, you need to
register as a seller. To do this, create an account on
eBay and register for PayPal, the payment system used by eBay.
- Once you've registered yourself, register as a business
user. If you're using the site as a business, eBay's
guidelines say you must register as a business user or you may be
breaching the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Registering a
business also qualifies you for certain discounts. When you're
registering your business, eBay will ask you to verify your
identity by asking you to provide your name, address, email address
and phone number, as well as a credit card number and information
about your bank account.
- Selling on eBay is just like any other business, so don't
forget to register as self-employed with HMRC and consider
registering your business as a limited liability company to protect
yourself if the business fails. If you think you're going to be
making more than £68,000 a year, you'll also need to register for
- If you have lots of auctions going at once, you may wish to
create an eBay Shop. An eBay shop allows you to
present all your auctions on one page, along with a customisable,
branded 'storefront'. To open a shop, you must be verified by
PayPal and have a minimum Feedback rating of 10. Depending on the
type of shop you use, you will get additional benefits such as
seeing your items will be further up search listings, making them
more eye-catching to consumers.
- Once you are registered, you will need to work out how
you are going to price your items. Do some research,
comparing how traditional shops in the same industry price their
offerings with online competitors and even other sellers on
More points to consider
- Once you've made some sales, you might want to consider
diversifying your offering. Are there any accessories you
could sell alongside your products? Is there any branded
merchandise your customers might be interested in?
- One of the most influential factors which will determine
whether a customer will buy from you is your feedback rating.
Negative feedback is a huge deterrent for customers,
so make sure you provide the best customer service possible: answer
questions promptly, have a clear returns policy and never try to
fleece buyers on the postage and packaging.
- eBay Education Specialists are experts who show
sellers how to maximise their profits during a series of training
events all over the country. You can find out if there's a session
in your local area by searching eBay's Education Specialist directory.
- Choose difficult-to-find or unusual products you have a good
knowledge of to sell
- Find a supplier by visiting trade fairs or searching
- Start by registering an account with eBay, then register as a
- Register as a business user
- Make sure you register as self-employed with HMRC
- Create an eBay shop to present all your auctions in one
- Stave off negative feedback by offering great customer
If I get unfair negative feedback, can I have it
The short answer is no. However, eBay does allow you the right to
reply - you can justify why you received negative feedback or
explain that you offered a refund.
What puts buyers off auction listings?
Background music, animated images, images which are slow to load
and busy pages are all a deterrent - so keep your listing
Feeback: the system used by eBay to allow buyers
and sellers to rate their experience with each other. Once a
transaction can been completed, the website asks you to rate your
experience. Beware of negative feedback: too much will put buyers
PayPal: the payment system preferred by
eBay. PayPal is an application which can transfer funds securely
between its members' accounts.
Power seller: an eBay member who is part of the
PowerSellers programme, which is only open to those who sustain a
gross trading volume above a set cutoff point for several months in
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